Governor Addresses Climate Change with New Water Supply Strategy

  • by ACWA staff
  • Aug 11, 2022
  • Water News

Gov. Gavin Newsom today released a new water supply strategy the Newsom Administration is taking to adapt to hotter and drier conditions caused by climate change.

The 19-page “California’s Water Supply Strategy, Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future” focuses on increasing and diversifying the state’s water supply as part of the Administration’s more focused approach to address water shortages and modernize California’s water systems.

“ACWA supports the Governor’s call for the development of new water supplies through increased recycled water, desalination, above- and below-ground storage capacity, and groundwater replenishment,” said Cindy Tuck, ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations.”

The goals and actions of the document are divided into four main categories as outlined below.

  1. Develop new water supplies
    • Reuse at least 800,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2030 and 1.8 million acre-feet by 2040.
    • Expand brackish groundwater desalination production by 28,000 acre-feet per year by 2030 and 84,000 acre-feet per year by 2040.
  2. Expand water shortage capacity above and below ground by four million acre-feet
    • Expand average annual groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet.
    • Work to complete the seven Proposition 1-supported storage projects and consider funding other viable surface storage projects.
    • Expand San Luis Reservoir by 135,000 acre-feet.
    • Rehabilitate dams to regain storage capacity.
    • Support local stormwater capture projects in cities and towns with the goal to increase annual supply capacity by at least 250,000 acre-feet by 2030 and 500,000 acre-feet by 2040.
  3. Reduce demand
    • Build on conservation efforts to reduce annual water demand in towns and cities by at least a million acre-feet by 2030.
    • Help stabilize groundwater supplies.
  4. Improve forecasting, data and management including water rights modernization
    • Improve flexibility of current water systems to move water throughout the state.
    • Modernize water rights administration for equity, access, flexibility and transparency.

ACWA staff is reviewing the document and will work with members to support local approaches  and address policy issues in the state’s implementation of the strategy. Staff will provide input to the Administration as these actions are implemented.

“California is launching an aggressive plan to rebuild the way we source, store and deliver water so our kids and grandkids can continue to call California home in this hotter, drier climate,” Newsom stated in a news release.

Over the last three years, state leaders have earmarked more than $8 billion to modernize water infrastructure and management. The 2022-’23 budget includes an additional $2.8 billion for drought relief to hard-hit communities, water conservation, environmental protection for fish and wildlife and long-term drought resilience projects.

ACWA has long supported federal, state and local investment in water infrastructure as part of a comprehensive approach to achieving long-term climate resilience. Staff continues to advocate for water infrastructure funding in the State Budget process, which will come to a close by Aug. 31 when the Legislature adjourns.

Also, earlier this year, ACWA launched the Quench California public education campaign to increase Californians’ awareness of the importance and positive benefits of investing in water infrastructure.

Members can incorporate the QuenchCA campaign materials into their agency’s efforts to educate customers about the importance of water infrastructure for their community through customizable communications tools.

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